United Nations Family Planning Association (UNFPA) has donated a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser TX (2022) valued at K45 million and one heavy duty printer to Malawi Government for the ‘Action for Teen Mothers and Adolescent Girls’ project.
The donation, which was funded by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), responds to the request of Mchinji District Council to UNFPA to aid its coordination functions at the district level.
Speaking during the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud, who was the Guest of Honour, said her Ministry is excited with the donation since it is a value addition to development efforts already taking place in the district as well as at community level.
“As you are aware, young girls succumb to sexual reproductive challenges involving teen pregnancy which result in dropping out of school at an early age which at times force them into early marriages and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Therefore, we find this donation coming at an appropriate time to increase access to reproductive services so that the young girls are empowered,” she said.
According to the Malawi Population and Housing Census (2018), Mchinji has a total population of 602,305 with 1 in 3 of the inhabitants being youth aged between 10–24 years. More than half of youth—107,965—are adolescent girls and young women. Current statistics show that adolescent girls and young women marry at early ages and are susceptible to physical violence and harmful practices.
More than half of married girls and young women aged from 15–24 were in-union before the legal age of 18. These realities increase their risk for unintended, mistimed, and higher-risk pregnancies, compromise their access to all functions of society, and violate their basic human rights.
In her remarks, UNFPA Officer in Charge Ms. Miranda Tabifor said, UNFPA believes that the vehicle will undoubtedly strengthen the technical and monitoring support of the District Council to all implementing partners.
“I would like to acknowledge the support of KOICA and the people of Korea in supporting the Mchinji district in its efforts of advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of the most vulnerable girls and young women,” said Tabifor.
Action for Teen mothers and Adolescent Girls project is implemented in Dedza and Mchinji districts of Malawi to advance adolescent girls and young women’s empowerment and improvement in their sexual reproductive health and rights.
The project intends to benefit 647,900 adolescent girls between 10-24 years in six traditional authorities of the target districts. These include teen mothers, pregnant, married, out-of-school, fistula survivors, HIV positive and those with specific vulnerabilities making them at high risk of becoming mothers during adolescence. The Joint Programme seeks to build on progress towards realising national and global commitments to advance gender equality, particularly to end all gender based violence and harmful practices against women and girls by 2030.
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